Winter has officially started for us and the fans of the cold weather including myself is feeling lucky as it came on the right time this year. Unlike last year which hardly seemed like winter, we are blessed with a good start. It has already rained for a couple of days in this month and temperature has already hit below 10 degrees. Good news for the fans of snow, Nathia Gali is covered in white and you can plan your trips now.
But, there is something missing. The lost sport of winter, Kite Flying!! As a child of the 90’s, my biggest entertainment in the winter was kite flying. If you have never flew a kite then the concept of the sport is to fly your kite and get in to a cutting competition (Paicha) with any other kite in your range. It is like a combat, to win you need to cut the opponent’s doar (thread used to fly the kite) and winning would result in the crowd screaming, “Bo-Kata”. Kite flying isn’t just limited to just Pakistan, it is quite famous in India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. If you do a little research then you would come to know that almost every country has people having major interest in kite flying. However, the material used and the shapes of the kites differ from country to country.
There is no more kite flying though. As most of you know, kite flying was pronounced as a major life-threatening sport and is banned in most of Pakistan since 2007. It was also stated to be harmful to the power lines and I don’t blame the authorities. People have been in horrible accidents during kite flying. Falling off the roofs while kite flying, getting in to road accidents while looting the cut kites, getting serious injuries from the doar like cut fingers and cuts on other body parts as the doar is very sharp.
There is some part of me which doesn’t completely digest the ban of kite flying. I am not by any means neglecting the fact that during the season of kite flying, many people especially children have lost their lives or got seriously hurt. My whole idea on this is that I believe to have lost something that was very important and entertaining to me when I was growing. I remember waiting for the Basant (Spring Welcome Festival by Kite Flying) but always had to stay in and study because in March we had to go through our final exams. I remember running in our play ground and trying to catch the cut kites and grab as much doar (thread to fly a kite) as I could. I mean, why spend money on buying when you can have it for free with close to none effort.
I hope that someday we will be responsible enough to enjoy kite flying again without endangering anyone’s life. I would like the Basant festival to be celebrated again, see the sky filled with colorful kites, hear the screams of Bo-Kata, listen to “Patanbaz Sajna” by Fariha Pervez. I want my perfect winter again. Someday!